Ta da! My first experience growing broccoli rabe has been a success. I planted it in early September and hoped that it would mature enough to harvest or possibly over-winter for a spring crop. We’ve been nursing it along with a blanket cover during dips below freezing and finally, as it started to flower and a sustained hard freeze set in, I went out and harvested the lot. For us, living in town, the lot is not a lot, but enough for several meals. While the risotto was just fine as is, I added a little cooked and crumbled Italian sausage. During most of the week, we regard meat as a garnish rather than the focus of a meal. Better for you and better for the planet.
Broccoli Rabe Risotto
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
Butter (or olive oil)
¾ c Arborio rice
¾ -1 c cooked broccoli rabe
3-4 c chicken or turkey stock, warmed
Salt and pepper
¼ c grated Parmesan cheese or other flavorful hard cheese
Optional: ½-1 flavorful Italian sausage, cooked and crumbled
Optional: a few flakes of red pepper
Lightly sauté the onion in a little butter or oil until soft. Add the rice and stir to coat the grains. Start adding the stock, about ¼ c at a time, regulating the heat to keep the liquid at a simmer. Keep stirring and adding additional ¼ c of stock. The entire risotto should take about 20 minutes to cook. About ¾ of the way through, add the greens. (They will impart moisture to the rice so you may not need to add as much stock.) When the risotto is just finished, adjust the seasonings and add the grated cheese. Stir in the crumbled sausage if using. Serve immediately.
Serves 3 as a main dish, up to 6 as a side dish.